Karl Jordan Jr., one of the men indicted in the 2002 murder of legendary RUN-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, has filed to have those charges dismissed or to seek a separate trial from his co-defendant Ronald Washington. According to Rolling Stone, Jordan Jr.’s attornies state that “federal prosecutors took too long to bring charges.” The two men were indicted in 2020.
The filing goes on to state the 2003 Playboy article “The Last Days of Jam Master Jay” as the reason the defendants need solo trials. In the article, Washington puts Jordan Jr. and his father at Jay’s studio when he was shot during a cocaine deal gone wrong. “I’m positive it was Little D. I looked him right in his face before he ran off,” Washington claims in an interview conducted while he was imprisoned for robbery. Jordan Jr.’s lawyers call Washington’s statements “testimonial in nature,” and claim they wouldn’t be able to cross-examine him without separate trials.
“It is anticipated that the government will seek to use Washington’s statements to prove its case against both men. There is no question that the statement by Washington accusing Mr. Jordan of being present at the scene of the murder incriminates Mr. Jordan, the non-declarant, which necessitates severance,” Jordan Jr.’s lawyers write in the filing.
Washington’s lawyers also cite prosecutors taking too long to file charges as a reason to separate the trial.
“The government has known about the crime since 2002 and has been convinced that Mr. Washington committed the murder since at least 2006. This uniquely long pre-indictment delay violates fundamental conceptions of justice and due process,” said Washington’s attorney, Susan G. Kellman, wrote in a separate motion filed on Sunday.
This is such a difficult, emotional crime, and we understand that prosecutors want to get all the details of the crime straight, but the pace this case has moved at is extremely frustrating.